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(Watch for our anniversary Special Edition this month and be sure to visit our Web site)

In the Vineyard
Vol. 2, Issue 3

This rather is the fasting that I wish:
releasing those bound unjustly,
untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
breaking every yoke;
Sharing your bread with the hungry,
sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;
Clothing the naked when you see them,
and not turning your back on your own.

Isaiah 58:6-7

As VOTF hastens toward the Lenten season alongside Catholics the world over, our members are focusing on this liturgical opportunity for re-dedication to our mission and goals as well as finding new ways to witness our faith.

In the Boston, MA Archdiocese, VOTF members will join other groups for a peace-filled "Silent Watch" that will mark the sorrow felt by so many on behalf of the survivors. Organizers have also spoken of their hope for a just honesty in acts of repentance. The watch will take place at the Chancery, the seat of the Boston archdiocese, from noon to 3 p.m. throughout the forty days of Lent. Other affiliates around the country are planning similar actions. Contact Andrea Johnson at for more information.

At the recent VOTF Representative Leadership Council meeting in MA, attendees participated in an anniversary rededication liturgy written by National Prayerful Voice - it is on our Web site for use by VOTF affiliates and parish voices planning Lenten services.

As we consider our Lenten journey 2003, we are reminded of our earthly challenge put so simply by Thomas Merton: "'God's will' is found in anything that is required of us in order that we may be united with one another in love." You will find in this issue the measure of VOTF members' dedication to those words.

  • The New Jersey affiliate recently hosted a talk by one of VOTF's loudest critics - reaching beyond itself to advance a pro-active and engaged dynamic - to "unite in love."
  • The Winchester, MA VOTF affiliate completed a survey of priests, furthering our collective understanding of VOTF's second goal - to "unite in love."
  • From coast to coast, affiliates are moving into public places to advocate for the protection of children - to "unite in love." Two of our affiliates similarly engaged on opposite coasts, Washington and New York, report on legislative activity as they work toward ensuring a safer, healthier church.
  • In Minnesota, a budding affiliate looks to its first healing service they have planned with survivors, clergy and growing numbers of area Catholics - to "unite in love."
  • Two major regional conferences (noted in "Events") will focus on justice and compassion for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy - to "unite in love."

Isaiah's words, too, are played out wherever there is a VOTF - none will turn their backs.

Peggie L. Thorp, Ed


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In the Vineyard
March 2003
Vol 2, Issue 3

Page One

From the Executive Director

What Can You Do for Lent?

Working Groups

Voices, Voices Everywhere!

Announcements and Events of Note

Legislative Reports

In the Vineyard Archives

Current VOTF members, please re-register as part of our database update. New members, please register.

Voice of the Faithful is recognized as one of the most promising lay organizations to evolve in the Catholic Church. Your support is absolutely necessary for us to continue. The online donation form and the mail in donation form are both quick and easy ways for you to participate, and we are most grateful.

Mission Statement

To provide a prayerful voice, attentive to the Spirit, through which the Faithful can actively participate in the governance and guidance of the Catholic Church.

Purple Cross

Our Goals

1. To support those who have been abused

2. To support priests of integrity

3. To shape structural change within Church

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Pray Each Day
at Noon

Jesus, Lord and Brother, help us with our faithfulness. Please hear our voice, and let our voice be heard. Amen. More



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